Posts Tagged ‘MLB’

Surviving the Long Distance Baseball Relationship: Pro Tips from the First MLB Fan Cave Couple

March 4, 2013

Kelsey on the first official day of stardom in the WBC Fan Cave! [Photo courtesy of MLB Fan Cave's Facebook page]

Kelsey on the first day of stardom in the WBC Fan Cave with Miss America and three other Dwellers! [Photo courtesy of MLB Fan Cave’s Facebook page]


If you haven’t heard yet, Kelsey was selected to represent Team USA in the World Baseball Classic version of the MLB Fan Cave and has been in New York City for about a week now! She’s absolutely killing it in the Fan Cave and USA could not ask for a more passionate fan.

But what does this mean for our relationship? Cue daunting music here! Just kidding — remember that Kelsey is a Cardinals fan from St. Louis and we’ve spent plenty of time thousands of miles apart.

Living on opposite coasts isn’t fun, because my cheesy baseball pickup lines (“Hey baby, wanna lay down a squeeze?”) don’t work as well through a computer screen. But if anyone knows how to do it, it’s Kelsey and I. Here are a few pro tips from the first-ever MLB Fan Cave couple on how to survive this type of long-distance, baseball-loving drudgery:

Tip #1 – You Can Sleep When You’re Dead

Jeremy: I have a full-time job, but in times like these, sleep is overrated. The World Baseball Classic’s schedule doesn’t necessarily lend itself to a normal R.E.M. cycle, with many of the games starting at absurd hours like 2:30 in the morning. But Kelsey’s job is to stay up and watch every inning of every game, and I’ve been doing my best to keep up. So far, I’ve only missed a few innings of the opening round. I get to chat with my girl and watch a premier international baseball tournament? Count me in.

Kelsey: I’m actually luckier than Jeremy. I get to sleep during the day while he goes to work. But he’s absolutely right! As long as you’re functioning well enough in your job, take that time to connect. It’s important to continue your relationship and find your new rhythm — it will probably be different from the one you have when you’re both at home.

Tip #2 – Surprise Each Other

Kelsey: A good surprise is a special way to remind your partner that you think of them. It shows you’re going out of your way…This could be a package, an unexpected call, even a silly poem. Jeremy and I have been known to have fun with song parodies through text message.

Jeremy: How convenient! It is, after all, Kelsey’s birthday on Friday. She knows there is something coming, but has no idea what is in it. All I can promise is that it’s a little more well-thought-out than a texted song parody. Though a performance of “Don’t Go Chasing Curveballs” might suffice for another occasion.

Tip #3 – A Little Social Media Goes a Long Way

Jeremy: Snail mail takes days, and stamps are annoying to find. Plus, who wants to write a long diatribe with a boring old paper and pen when you can crop it all down to 140 characters and a few hashtags? When Kelsey is doing such a social media-heavy job, she’s bound to be on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tout more than most humans are in a lifetime. A favorite here and a retweet there reminds her that I’m paying attention, even from 3,000 miles away!

Kelsey: Gold stars are like virtual kisses and hugs! And this works both ways. Live-tweeting a game can make it feel as if you’re hanging out together. Just make sure to supplement it with personalized text and other forms of communication to make sure your partner knows they’re special.

Tip #4 – Watch Something Together

Kelsey: Baseball games, movies, TV shows…YouTube videos, even. All can be things you share together, even from miles and miles away. It may be tricky to find the time, but hopping on the phone or on Skype and watching something can make it feel as if you’re both in the same place.

Jeremy: Isn’t social media technology awesome? Believe it or not, one of the first memories I have our relationship is watching Inglorious Basterds together on Skype. Meaning, we synced our starting times and each watched in our respective homes as we chatted. It’s not exactly the same, but as good as it gets for replacing regular movie night.

Tip #5 – Keep the Connection Any Way You Can

Jeremy: Not THAT connection. The one that got you together in the first place! America’s pastime. For example, in my daily perusing of baseball news, I saw an article that piqued my interest. It was about Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina giving unprecedented amounts of praise to a minor league pitcher he caught in Spring Training. The content meant a whole lot more to Kelsey, and she told me as much after I sent the story to her. Baseball is our glue, so we keep applying more, no matter what.

Kelsey: Luckily, baseball is one of the sports that has most embraced social media and the online world. It’s easy to share baseball-related content from far away. This will remind you of some of the things you have in common and keep you talking about daily life apart from work and sleep.

To see more pro tips from the first-ever Fan Cave couple, visit our last two blogs. First, one from Valentine’s Day. And how to survive rival fandom.

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The MLB Fan Cave Top 30 Experience: Day Two

February 23, 2013

IMG_0932Technically, I’ve been home for almost two full days. But when the week prior is full of sleep deprivation, stress, lots of travel, and busy schedules, the last thing you’re physically ready to do is write up a blog talking about said list.

I’ve caught up on sleep and am in a reflective mood, so let’s talk day two of the MLB Fan Cave trip to Arizona! If you missed the first part, you can find my recap here.

Day two started with a group bus ride to Surprise, AZ to do a couple video challenges. Little did we know what an amazing surprise we would actually get! When we arrived at the complex (it was a beauty!), we saw Rangers and Royals players taking batting practice in the cages.

Immediately, we were split into two groups to film our video challenges. I held down the fort for the men in my group, joining Royals fan Angalena Scavuzzo, Yankees fan Stephe Rodriguez, A’s fan Vanessa Demske and Blue Jays fan April Whitzman. We each shot individual 15-second promos with Sony Bloggie’s, before collaborating on a 30-second commercial for MLB.com/tickets for our mystery team (the Orioles).

Look for those finished products on MLBFanCave.com very soon! The real craziness began after we finished that challenge. I had heard rumors that George Brett was in Surprise earlier in the week, but figured he had left already. Then, wouldn’t you know it, but the Hall of Famer himself walks up to our group in full Royals gear and shakes everyone’s hand before going back to the scrimmage.

The fact that this 2013 MLB Fan Cave journey has already allowed me to shake hands with and speak to Tommy Lasorda and George Brett is an absolute dream come true. It keeps me grounded as the anticipation swells for the Cave Dwellers to be announced, that even if I don’t make it, nothing will change the experience I’ve had.

After meeting George, we headed down to the field itself and met up with current Royals outfielders Jeff Francoeur and Alex Gordon. The Royals are kind of my fan-crush team of the year (the team I not-so-secretly root for when the Dodgers aren’t involved — I picked them to win an A.L. Wild Card this season!), so it was amazing to interact with two of their most notable hitters.

I can’t tell you what we filmed or many details about the rest of the day in Surprise, because, well…it’s a surprise. That production should be on MLBFanCave.com fairly soon as well. I can tell you that George Brett, Francoeur, and Gordon were three of the coolest dudes I’ve ever met. Gordon was more soft-spoken, but clearly very confident in himself. Francoeur, or “Frenchie,” is an absolute goofball. We had a good time chatting about Bacon Tuesday in Oakland and how the rightfield bleacher creatures at o.Co Coliseum love him more than their own.

I took pictures with both of them, including this gem that spread like wildfire through the Fan Cave social media pages:

IMG_0934

Yes, I can forever claim to be the guy who got photo-boomed (get it?) by a Hall of Famer. I’m honored! After the dream of an afternoon ended, we hopped back on the Fan Cave bus and rode it to the hotel in Phoenix. Many of the contestants were able to relax, take naps, and hit up the hotel happy hour before our last event. But I still had a panel interview on the itinerary, meaning I had to update you all on social media and then get to mentally preparing myself for one of the most important aspects of the week.

The panel interview is like any other job interview — except that everyone there has close ties to the top of the top in Major League Baseball. And there are at lest 10 of them there. And you’re in a chair in the middle of the round, surrounded by them. And you have no idea what they will ask and how they will react to what you answer.

Honestly, I didn’t get very nervous for this part of the process, because I’ve been through so many job interviews in so many industries before. It was a little bit intimidating that one person was firing questions while the rest watched and/or took notes. The anticipation of knowing what was on their notepads was killing me!

Without fully disclosing everything that was said in that room, I can tell you that I was asked a lot about my writing, my girlfriend, and a couple of questions related to personal experiences (i.e. “What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?”).

All in all, I came out of the room feeling good, though I was disturbed at the simplicity of the questions they asked me. As I look back today, I was likely just over thinking every last detail, but I still worry that they couldn’t figure out a unique aspect of my story to grab onto, hence the unmemorable interview questions. That could be a killer in the end, but when looking at my body of work as a whole in Arizona, I still consider myself a very strong candidate.

After that interview, the tough part was over. I went back to my room, got dressed up for a night at Lucky Strike downtown, and met everyone in the lobby about 45 minutes later. I must say, we all looked fantastic in our best business-casual comfort clothes.

The party at Lucky Strike was fabulous. We had endless, catered food that was all delicious, an open bar, and a chance to party with our fellow contestants and mingle with the MLB executives again. I had a few really good conversations with people I hadn’t gotten to chat with enough on day one, and strengthened my bonds with a lot of the other finalists.

At the end of the night, a strange mix of relief, fear, and confusion set in as I realized the whirlwind of a trip was officially coming to an end. When we returned to the hotel, I drafted and sent a very brief, but heartfelt email to some of the MLB executives thanking them for the trip and the opportunity I was presented with.

I figured if I waited until the next morning to send the email, I might come across as a suck-up, as they were evidently discussing the finalists that day. That couldn’t be farther from the truth, though — I really just truly appreciated everything I was given and the overwhelming week compelled me to thank everyone as soon as possible. Hopefully they received and appreciated my note! IMG_0938

After a few beers in various finalists’ rooms as we all wound down and discussed travel plans for home (as well as travel plans to visit each other!), I finally crashed around 3 a.m. The trip was done. It was a resounding success, and flying back to San Francisco the next morning left me feeling upset, as I wished only to be back in the hot tub chumming it up with 29 of the coolest people I’ve ever met.

Now we wait for our results, less anxious than we should be. It’s hard to be nervous when you have a family of support around you and an unending Facebook group chain sharing pictures, videos and experiences from the previous few days. No matter what happens, this is a Fan Cave family. It doesn’t matter how many times it has been said, or how cliche it is, because it’s completely true.

The people, the places, the players and the challenges we faced in two short days is unrivaled. Regardless of results, this will be one helluva baseball season, as I share it with a whole new group of obsessive fans. Thank you, MLB Fan Cave!

Oh…and remember when I promised you all the secret parody video? Here it is, in all its glory:

http://mlbfancave.mlb.com/fancave/video.jsp?content_id=25607055&topic_id=19224580&fbid=AJnZFcY9hdV

Valentine’s Day for Baseball Lovers – Pro Tips from the First MLB Fan Cave Couple

February 16, 2013

Cardinals are red,

Dodgers are blue,

When you both love baseball on VDay,

What do you do?  ❤

It’s Valentine’s Day, you and your significant other are huge baseball fans, and you have no idea how to celebrate. Sure, it might be the offseason…Going to a game is your go-to gift strategy, but never fear! The First Fan Cave Couple has some ideas for you!

Here are some V-Day gifts for baseball lovers from Kelsey and I:

1. Kelsey – Classic Valentines: MLB Style

You know those valentines you had to buy every one of your classmates as a kid? Why not send a whole box to your significant other? Better yet…why not buy the MLB pack (it exists!), and write a fun note on every single one. Or sign them from your favorite All-Stars. To go the extra mile, decorate the box in which you put them and voilà!

Cost: $

2. Jeremy – Fancy Feast: Not the Cat Food

No, not the cat food…unless you actually hate your partner. If he or she really loves baseball, then all they want for dinner on V-Day is a pile of cheap hot dogs, nachos and beer. Create a whole smorgasbord of ballpark favorites. Fast, easy and delicious! Show off those cooking skills!

Cost: $$

3. Kelsey – Two Words: “Spring Training”

Baseball may not be in your hometown, but if you’re lucky enough to have the moolah, you can head on down to Arizona or Florida to your favorite team’s camp. Spring Training is definitely an experience every baseball fan should have. The proximity to the players and to the game is unparalleled, and it definitely tides you over till Opening Day. Now, if you and your partner’s teams happen to be in separate states like our Cardinals and Dodgers…then things might get complicated. Flip a coin?

Cost: $$$

4. Jeremy – Chocolates: A là Bambino

Girls. Love. Chocolate. Well, so do guys. But ignore the cliché stares from the other men checking out at the grocery store and come home with some delicious chocolate for your girl. If you’re as lucky as me, your girlfriend will also root for a team that wears red, so the box color adds a nice touch. And there are plenty of baseball-themed options. Try those little baseball chocolates that come in goodie bags at birthday parties, or some appropriately named “Baby Ruths.” Grab a bouquet of flowers and you’re set!

Cost: $

5. Kelsey – Always a Favorite: Baseball Movie Marathon

You may not have the means to travel to baseball, but you can bring baseball to yourself on the big screen! You could even set up a projector outside to feel more like a part of the film. There are so many classic baseball movies…A League of Their Own and The Sandlot are two of my favorites. But I might suggest Moneyball. After all, “How can you not be romantic about baseball?”

Cost: $

6. Jeremy – The Ultimate: A Baseball “Fan Love” Package

It’s not as dirty as it sounds. I totally made this up, and I wish I had actually thought of it before today so Kelsey could get one, herself. A glove, a baseball-loving teddy bear, and a new hat of her favorite team on top says it all. I don’t care if your girlfriend can throw the ball a mile or couldn’t catch a beach ball if it was handed to her – this gift would still rock. Boom. Done. Home run.

Cost: $$

Valentines

For more fun couples tips, blog posts, and videos, make sure Kelsey and I get into the MLB Fan Cave! We have tons of ideas and we can’t wait to share them with you on a national stage.

Watch our video explaining how we got together.

Follow us on Twitter @kelseyshea11 and @jamblinman.

And like our Facebook pages: KelseyJeremy.

How to Survive Rival Fandom in a Relationship – Pro Tips from the First MLB Fan Cave Couple

February 11, 2013

Kels + Jer pic 2

For baseball fans, dating is tough. You have to find someone who loves the game as much as you and maybe even roots for the same team. My girlfriend and I found the former, but the latter? That’s where it gets tricky.

While both Kelsey and I never thought we would find ourselves snuggling up to a die-hard fan of another MLB team, the world works in mysterious ways. The MLB Fan Cave and our love of the game brought us together, and now we have to live with the fact that we will never see eye to eye when it comes to the number one team in the National League.

Cardinals or Dodgers? It’s a huge debate between us. So how do we survive the rival fandom in our relationship? Here are some of our tips for those of you also dating rival fans, straight from the mouths of the first ever Fan Cave couple:

1. Know that your fan allegiances will never change.

Kelsey: You know when people say, “Don’t try to change your partner?” That goes for their MLB team, as well. Think about your own childhood and what made you a fan of your team…There’s no way you could adopt another and neither can your boyfriend or girlfriend. Accept their fandom as just one of those flaws you grow to know and love.

Jeremy: If I can’t be changed by almost a quarter-century of San Francisco living, no lady friend of mine will be able to turn me. Asking your other to switch their fandom is grounds for immediate DFA in the baseball world. As Kelsey said, accept that “flaw,” learn to love it, and move on. Otherwise, you’ll become a free agent sooner than you think.

2. Support each other when only one team is involved.

Kelsey: If your team isn’t playing and theirs is, throw them some love! Jeremy and I have a count of how many times I’ve made him wear a Cardinals shirt and how many times he’s made me wear a Dodgers shirt. We don’t always like it, but there’s no real harm done. Now, if the Cardinals were playing, that’s a different story. I wouldn’t be caught dead in a Dodgers shirt, and he knows that!

Jeremy: This point should come with a disclaimer. If I were, God forbid, a Cubs fan, everything changes. If Kelsey was, God forbid, a Giants fan, toss this rule out. If you are in a relationship like that, I would recommend counseling. Otherwise, Kelsey is right – value your relationship enough to pat the other on the back, and even root for their team to do well if it doesn’t directly affect your team’s standing.

3. Appreciate the fact that your significant other loves something as much as you do.

Kelsey: What really matters in all of this is the fact that you both love your sport. It’s important in every relationship to have something in common and to have passion. If you’re dating a die-hard fan of any team, you know you’re getting both of those things.

Jeremy: And look on the bright side: Your boyfriend or girlfriend knows what it’s like to watch their team fail, too. Even if they are a Yankees fan. So they will be right there to catch you when you fall.

4. Keep it fun and playful.

Kelsey: There should always be teasing! Of course, you can’t just let them get away with a free pass for loving another team. Give each other crap and know that it’s all in good fun, but don’t ever take it too far.

Jeremy: Tease all you want, but be cautious. I learned the hard way not to jokingly break “news” to Kelsey that Yadier Molina had been traded. That death glare is seared in my mind forever. So have at it! Just be civil, and don’t pick on the other team’s best players.

5. We’ve said it before – If it comes down to it, watch in separate rooms.

Kelsey: There are some times when it just gets too intense. When you love someone, and you love a team, and they clash…it’s just better to not go there. The 2012 NL Wild Card race saw the Cardinals and Dodgers in a tight race, and Jeremy and I agreed to: A) Watch the games in separate rooms, B) Not talk about it. This way we couldn’t upset one another no matter the outcome.

Jeremy: If you’ve already moved into a cubicle-sized studio…We can’t help you. That was a mistake from the get-go. But yes, if possible, watch the intense games in separate rooms. I promise you, the tension will mount to levels you’ve never experienced at a sporting event before. With all those emotions flying around, I prefer to crack a cold beer and lock myself in my room to watch the Dodgers whoop the Cardinals. It saves a lot of awkward glances.

For more fun couples tips, blog posts, and videos, make sure Kelsey and I get into the MLB Fan Cave! We have tons of ideas and we can’t wait to share them with you on a national stage.

Watch our video explaining how we got together.

VOTE for us both at mlbfancave.com as many times as you want!

Follow us on Twitter @kelseyshea11 and @jamblinman.

And like our Facebook pages: Kelsey, Jeremy.

MLB Fan Cave: Trying to Avoid a Sophomore Slump

February 2, 2013

profile picIf you haven’t heard, I made the Top 52 of the MLB Fan Cave for the second straight year. Last year, I didn’t make the cut for the Top 30, who moved on to a Spring Training casting trip in Arizona. But I also was unprepared and brand new to Twitter.

This year, I’m ready to take the contest by storm and move beyond the Spring Training trip into New York City as the Dodgers Fan Cave representative. Once we get to the casting trip, I can take things into my own hands and try to make my best impression on the powers that be.

But until then, I need your help! Please visit my voting link here and throw a few votes my way (you can refresh and vote multiple times)! You can follow my Facebook page for all the most up-to-date news on my campaign, and follow me on Twitter @Jamblinman. If you’re so inclined, I have an Instagram account (Jamblinman7), an ongoing Bleacher Report series evaluating all 30 teams, and a YouTube channel with all my most recent videos.

I also need to get my name out to mainstream media, such as newspapers, radio and TV publications. It’s tough to do as a Dodgers fan in San Francisco, but I’m doing my best to get attention locally and in Southern California. Any tips, connections, or other advice is more than welcome. Just shoot me a Facebook message or a tweet!

Please spread the word, share my link with everyone, and vote in your spare time! I live for baseball and think I’d make a great Cave Dweller in New York City this summer. If you help me get to the Fan Cave this season, I’ll do my best to be a good representative for Dodger Nation.

Thank you for the support so far — only 11 more days to vote and get me to the Top 30!

2013 MLB Hall of Fame Vote Headlines

January 13, 2013

Okay, besides the obvious: “HALL OF FAME SUCKS AND SHUTS OUT A MILLION DESERVING CANDIDATES!”

Now that we’ve rushed to conclusions, let’s take a step back. I believe there is a flaw in the voting system for the Hall of Fame. I thought that before this vote took place, and find myself thinking about it more often now that the shutout occurred.

I’m not sure I could ever articulate my suggestions in a fashion that exceeds this fantastic piece by Jeff Passan, so I’ll leave you with that. And this one from Jayson Stark.

Please come back and finish reading my blog before you get carried away with those incredibly well-written works of art. Thanks.

And as much as I’d like to just dive right in and go to town on those dirty rotten voters, we do have to give them a break. Not only are they tasked with an insanely difficult job, but they then have to deal with nuisances like myself immediately after.

To avoid becoming a talking head on this topic and running with the same exact story lines, here are some other things I was processing while sobbing in the shower after seeing nobody reach the 75 percent threshold:

1) The outside influence on and internal struggle of a voter is fascinating.

If you truly think ballots aren’t influenced by voters’ peers in most cases, you’re as blind as a bat. A baseball bat. It happens in all types of social situations, because the desire to fit in is stronger than the desire to do what’s right. I’m not saying that’s why some votes went down as they did, but it certainly played a role. If every ESPN voter except one had openly proclaimed in the office they were voting for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, steroids be damned, chances are the outcast would also vote for Bonds and Clemens. It’s a social science.

Even more intriguing to me is the struggle all baseball fans face with morality. Yours truly is still undecided whether or not, given a hypothetical Hall of Fame vote, I’d vote for someone who was busted for PED’s. On the one hand, they are legends in their own right and earned their numbers, even if slightly inflated because of a little pill. On the other, their crimes are far more offensive to me than anything Pete Rose did, and he is banned from the game forever.

2) I thought all ballots should be released…then reconsidered.

What would it accomplish? Sure, we want to know who cast a vote for Shawn Green, or which nimrods thought it okay to exclude a surefire in Craig Biggio. But all it would lead to is a collective, big boy temper tantrum that only gets us in a meaningless, heated Twitter argument with each other. There are plenty of voters who shouldn’t be voting, but they have the right to conceal their choices for whatever reason they want…and I’m fine with that. Besides, who’s to say all the hidden ballots weren’t perfectly reasonable?

3) That being said…

…why isn’t Orel Hershiser or Gil Hodges in the Hall of Fame yet? And why did it take voters so long to induct Hank Greenberg? That’s literally all I had for this one. Awkward. Moving on.

4) Kenny Lofton and Bernie Williams gone forever.http://cdn.bleacherreport.net/images_root/images/photos/000/973/485/98433807_crop_650x440.jpg?1276726536

My heart breaks just writing those words. Two of my all-time favorite players and idols growing up did not receive the required five percent to stay on the ballot for 2014. Both players had very borderline cases as it was, but now their only hope is to be inducted by the Veteran’s Committee. That’s about as likely as Juan Uribe hitting a curveball, unfortunately. It’s too bad – who’s with me here: Creating a Hall of Fave in which fans get to choose non-Hall of Famers to grace the halls of a hallowed ground dedicated to the most popular players who ever played. This year, Kenny and Bernie would easily be in. Next year, we would welcome Sean Casey with open arms!

5) The PED users all get another shot.

Oh, stop. I’m allowed to group them together like that. Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Roger Clemens and Rafael Palmeiro all survived the cut and will be on the ballot in 2014. In my humble opinion, Big Mac, Bonds and The Rocket will eventually hang a plaque in Cooperstown. In my humbler opinion, only Bonds and Clemens have the all-around numbers to be there. In my humblest opinion, those inevitable plaques should have a daftly-carved asterisk in each. The official prediction for me is that both Bonds and Clemens are in by 2018. McGwire? More like 2021.

6) Edgar Martinez and Larry Walker, ladies and gentleman!

This is similar to the Lofton-Williams scenario. Except that Martinez and Walker both have very good cases for Hall of Fame induction. Martinez is the DH. He deserves a spot in Cooperstown, and there’s nothing you can say that will make me budge from that position. As for Walker, is there any better five-year span out of the non-PED users than his .353/30/98/1.172 OPS line from 1997 (his MVP season, in which he also stole 33 bases) to 2002? He’s got the most anonymous Hall of Fame resumes in baseball, and the worst part of it all is Walker might get snubbed completely.

7) Biggio? More like Biggi-NO.

Goodness, that’s a money headline! How I don’t get paid to write those is beyond me. In all seriousness, since we are on the subject of snubs, why is Craig  Biggio not preparing a teary-eyed, soulful speech right now? I understand the aura (both negative and positive) around this year’s class, but the fact that 34 percent of voters found a reason to exclude a 3,000-hit club member who was an All-Star at two different positions and defined the word “grit,” while never raising questions about PED’s in an era where that was considered normal…is, honestly, blasphemous.

8) Is Aaron Sele going to change the course of baseball history?

And isn’t that what any aspiring ball player dreams of doing? I’m sure Sele didn’t expect it to happen this way, but that one, perplexing vote that was cast for him means a couple of things: First, there’s a voter out there who needs serious help right away. And secondly, he could be the trigger for a potential process-changing policy shift. Whether it be a limit to the character-scrubbing clause, or an increase in votes allowed per BBWAA member, or the amendment to require all ballots to go public, Aaron Bleepin’ Sele might go down in history as the man who changed it all. Sort of.

9) Finally, the class of 2014. Ohhhhhhh, the class of 2014. Yikes.

You thought this year’s class was loaded. Scratch Dale Murphy (another deserving candidate…he was on my ballot!) off the 2012 list, and add Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Mike Mussina, Frank Thomas, and Jeff Kent. Good luck. There are three no-doubters in that new group alone for me, so choosing a class of ten Hall of Famers this time next year will be a tall task. Because I value baseball more than my personal health (it’s currently 2:18 a.m., and I have a demanding work day ahead of me starting around 7:30), I’ve taken a shot at cracking this conundrum.

So if you’re so inclined, take a peek at my video revealing the 10 guys I would vote for in next year’s Hall of Fame election:

Thanks for reading, and feel free to subscribe to my YouTube page, or to visit my other blogs at jamblinman2.wordpress.com, or 3u3d.mlblogs.com. Until next time, vote with caution.

Jeremy is an unpaid intern/unpaid sports writer/unpaid blogger combination who does this stuff because he absolutely loves it. Follow him on Twitter @Jamblinman, and LIKE his 2013 MLB Fan Cave campaign page on Facebook!

Reasons Sports Fans Love Christmas

December 25, 2012

Dodger jersey

Every good sports fan loves getting an autograph at a game, or a rookie card of their favorite player, or an authentic jersey. There’s just something about owning a small piece of merchandise that represents your team t

Why am I telling you this? Is it really worthy of a blog post? No, probably not. But I’m borderline giddy at some of the gifts I received this Christmas, so go ahead and indulge me, huh? In no particular order:hat brings a childish sense of glee to a sports fan.

Clayton Kershaw Jersey

Brownie points for the girlfriend! With my James Loney jersey rendered useless when the current Tampa Bay Ray was sent to Boston last season, I was down to zero relevant Dodger jerseys. Absolutely unacceptable. And with the influx of money through the new ownership, Kershaw should be a Dodger for life. Win!

Autographed Kershaw Photo

What are better than brownie points? Chocolate cake points? Because along with that jersey came an authentic, autographed picture of Kershaw delivering a pitch (undoubtedly a strike…) from his left arm. Sports fans LOVE getting autographs – even if it’s one in 100, it feels like one in a million.

Book of Dodger History and Photos

When you truly love a sports team, knowing everything about them becomes priority. I consider myself an expert on the Dodgers already, but this will only make me more knowledgeable. And the old-school, black and white pictures will give me even more respect for my team’s history.

Dodgers and 49ers Ornaments

A nice blue Dodger cap and a 49er football that lights up a snowman’s face when turned on? Yes, please! Ornaments are a Christmas tradition, and no matter how juvenile or otherwise-useless they may be.

Ballpark Calendar

With the exception of May 2013, every month in the ballpark calendar my sister got me absolutely rules (AT&T Park represents that horrid month). It even has old-school Ebbets Field, home of the Brooklyn Dodgers. I don’t usually use calendars, but this one will be run ragged.

Kirk Gibson Bobblehead and Bobblearm

Okay, so I got this one myself. I couldn’t help it! I’ve been wanting the greatest bobblehead in bobblehead-related history since it came out in the middle of this summer. Now, I finally own the 1988 World Series Game 1 bobblehead of Kirk Gibson, rounding the bases with his bobblearm fist-pumping away. Totally, awesomely worth it.

A Passive-Aggressive Letter to Major League Baseball

December 19, 2012

baseball moneyJust for the record, I hate when people write “Dear ________ (i.e. “Homework”), Please stop being so hard! Love, _______” on Facebook. So stop doing that. My version on this blog is awesome and clever, okay? Stop laughing!

Dear Major League Baseball,

First of all, thanks for all the great times. The home runs, the no-hitters, the magical moments, the near-misses, the joy and the agony, the PED’s and — wait. Okay, that’s enough dilly-dallying. I’ve sugar-coated this enough: I’m pissed.

It crosses my mind every so often. Usually when Joe Schmo So-and-So and his .225 average signs a six-year contract for $90 million that ends up equating to about $225,000 per hit each season. I accept it as fact and move on. Then Frank Tank Wanky Wank and his 1.35 WHIP signs for four years and $48 million, roughly $1 million per win each season.

And worst of all, players who actually deserve big money at the given market value, sign contracts worth between $200 million and $250 million dollars. For playing a sport. A child’s game, played by men.

Don’t get me wrong. I love you. I love baseball. Always have, always will. And I’d give at least half a nut to be playing in your league, making that kind of money for a daily routine of catch, batting practice and bullpen sessions.

But when I see articles like this, I get upset.

Josh Hamilton signing

Oh, did I mention I’m a Dodgers fan? I worship the team that spends hundreds of millions of dollars on free agents and negotiating rights and probably unnecessarily fast cars.

That team, and this sport is my passion. I realize this is “how it is.” And I definitely realize that I shouldn’t complain, since my team is riding that gravy train to being the best team in baseball on paper. But after the hypothetical confetti settles on a hypothetical World Series title, I’m going to get pissed again.

I apologize for the bluntness (no I don’t), but why are grown men with nary a financial management skill being handed game checks worth six figures for swinging a piece of wood at a ball of laced hide?

Professional athletes don’t have it as easy as I’m making it out to be, so I digress. It’s a tough job. And they deserve to be well-compensated for doing that job, especially when the ridiculous income would go straight to the slick-haired, three-piece-suited, likely dirty executives that run the league and the media otherwise.

But even a phenom like Mike Trout – and this isn’t a reach, since the market trends up every single year and he’s already the best player in the game at age 21 – is going to be in line for a contract worth over $300 million when he hits free agency.

Do you realize how much money that is? I’ve never had $300,000,000 $3,000,000 $30,000 $3,000 at any given time in my 24 years on this planet.

I get it. I understand the system. I really do. But what in the world does Albert Pujols do with his $27.5 million per year? Make a side cash salad with his dinners? What does Barry Zito do with his nearly $2 million per win? Buy every fedora and scarf in the Northern California region (that explains why I can’t find any good ones…)?

There are people all over the world starving for 1/100,000,000th of that total in a lifetime, let alone in one calendar year. Most third-world countries would beg for school supplies, shoes, and fresh water for their children.

And even in America, thousands upon thousands of hard-working people work two jobs just to afford rent on a crappy apartment in a shitty neighborhood. If they want to watch Mike Trout play baseball, they better find a hotel lobby with the game on. rich a-rod

I don’t mean to get all sappy and dramatic on you, but I’m just making a point. Here it is, in all its glory:

SALARY. CAP.

Yeah, yeah. It would be tough to sell the players on such a thing. The logistics would be hell. But any player who says, “I deserve $_______ million!” is only justified in saying so because there isn’t a cap. They see mediocre players getting gigantic bonuses, and expect to exceed that. They are right. But you are wrong.

Fix it. Now. Please. Even this die-hard Dodgers fan wants there to be a limit to how much his team can spend.

Here is my proposition: Contract length cap – 7 years. Contract amount cap – $12 million per year/$84 million in a contract. You don’t have to do away with contract options, bonuses and incentives, as long as they don’t exceed a total of $100 million and/or 10 years.

Stop crying, Richie Rich executive guy. You’ll still get a hefty paycheck yourself. You can allocate the leftover funds to making the stadiums nicer, safer and more fan-friendly. You can set up more promotions for your adoring fan bases. Allocate more money to minor league players, as a reward for making it that far. Maybe even donate to charities! Set up developmental leagues in inner cities and foreign countries. Spread the gospel that is the greatest sport in the world.

I’m sure the Albert Pujols and Mike Trouts of this world will survive without a fourteenth guest bedroom in their Malibu mansions.

Much love,

Jeremy Dorn

Baseball Conossieur/Broke-Ass Blogger

The Art of Fair Weather Fandom

December 12, 2012

imageI know what you’re thinking: Jeremy, how would you know? You are the most hardcore, dedicated, handsome Dodgers and 49ers fan this side of Matt Kemp!

First of all, thank you. I agree. And yes – believe it or not, Dodgers star center fielder is a diehard 49ers fan.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t know a thing or two about fair weather fandom. Take, for example, the fact that I “root” for the Seattle Sounders because my ex-girlfriend’s dad got me hammered drunk at the only game I’ve attended.

As far as I know, that’s the coolest soccer team in the country because of one very hazy experience I had.

Or let’s talk about the Indiana Pacers; Reggie Miller was my favorite NBA player growing up, so naturally, I rooted for the Pacers. It was weird, unique, different. And like a good little Jew, I loved three-pointers (It’s the SAME thing, for one more point! Why doesn’t everyone just shoot threes?).

We all know Reggie was the three-point master. And don’t mistake “fair weather” for “frontrunner.” Those are vastly different labels. I liked the Pacers, good or bad, because I thought they were cool.

I like the Sounders because the beer at their stadium does very interesting things to my body when taken in large quantities. Honestly, I have no idea if they are any good and I don’t care.

Being a “frontrunner” means you live near the Bay Area and didn’t know what a baseball looked like until 2010 when the local San Francisco Giants won their first World Series title. If you now root for them, wear their gear, and try to tell me why they are the best team around – you are a frontrunner. Once they regress, so does your fandom. And that year’s World Series champion will grace your clothing.

On the contrary, being a fair weather fan means you root for a team for whatever reason, but only pay attention when you feel like it. That’s how it goes for me with basketball. It’s a sport I mostly understand, but never really played and definitely can’t objectively analyze.

I’ve been a fair weather Warriors fan for years (very obvious example of not rooting for a first-place team), but luckily I don’t have to put my heart and soul into rooting for them. So all those tortured fans out there probably both hate and envy me.

Tonight, the Warriors beat the defending-champion Miami Heat and reigning-MVP LeBron James. I turned it on for the sheer idea of a distraction and because my alma mater’s pride and joy, Klay Thompson, now graces the Warriors’ front court.

Twenty seven points for Klay later, the Warriors were jumping up and down on the Miami home floor, celebrating a two-point victory and the continuation of a gritty, undefeated (so far) road trip.

I found myself leaping out of my seat when the final buzzer sounded – emotions usually reserved for a Vernon Davis touchdown or Clayton Kershaw anything.

And that is the art of fair weather fandom. If you can watch a team play a game and feel no personal connection to them, but still become emotionally moved by their performance, you can root for them.

Just admit that you are fair weather, and nobody will get hurt. Tonight, I admit to being a fair weather Warriors fan. For the rest of this season, I am officially declared as a supporter of the Dubs (see, I even have the lingo down!).

I mean, why not? Technically my favorite basketball team is 1-0 this year when I watch them play and as their biggest fan, I couldn’t be happier.

If you are a fair weather blogger, follow Jeremy on Twitter @Jamblinman!

How I Became the World’s Biggest Cardinals Fan Overnight

October 19, 2012

It’s not what you think. Nobody actually convinced me to join the Cardinal-colored dark side. I’m not a front-runner, fair weather fan, nor did I only title this blog to score points with my girlfriend, who sees the world through red, white and navy blue lenses.

But the second Sergio Romo struck out Scott Rolen looking in Game 5 of the NLDS to send the Giants to the next round, I knew it would be a toss-up between the Cardinals and Nationals for my undying fandom this week.

When the Cards pulled another rabbit out of their hats in the 9th inning of Game 5 of their series to advance, it was confirmed: Jeremy Dorn, the most devoted Dodgers fan in the world, was briefly going to trade alliegences. That’s what you do in a rivalry; you root for your team until your lungs bleed, and when they are eliminated, you do the same for any team playing against your rival. Only when your rival’s season end, does the fan settle down, relaxed and waiting for another shot next year.

See, in case you didn’t learn anything in school, the Giants and Dodgers are the sports world’s greatest rivalry. Ever. It’s not even close. Sure, the Red Sox and Yankees get the most publicity and Duke versus North Carolina is an annual battle of the beasts…but no rivalry in a professional American sport comes close to matching the clout of Dodgers/Giants.

The two teams first met in 1883, and have since played  over 2,300 games directly against each other. The Giants have a slight edge, about 20 more wins total against the Dodgers. Both teams have won 21 National League pennants and six World Series titles.

And I don’t even need to go into the on-field, off-field and cross-team hatred and violence that has sprung out of this rivalry.

I’m not condoning any violence that has taken place, whether a fight between fans, a bat to the head during a game, or flinging insults at each other through the media. But that is how this rivalry works. And that is how, as a fan of one team involved, we are wired to think.

We want our team to win more than anything. If our team is eliminated, we want the rival team to fail more than anything. The cliched saying “My two favorite teams are the Dodgers and whoever is playing the Giants” is absolutely true.

Hell, even some players think that way. This season, Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong admitted that he was raised through the Giants system hating the Dodgers and would like nothing better than to beat them. The two franchise’s greatest and most celebrated individual players (Jackie Robinson and Willie Mays) refused to sign with the rival team later in their careers. Robinson elected for retirement, Mays accepted a trade to the Mets.

Ask a Giants fan – they took great happiness in helping to knock the Dodgers out of Wild Card contention in the last series of the season. Even though they had clinched the division days before that. 

Ask a Dodgers fan – we are ALL rooting for the Cardinals to kick the Giants in the teeth and send them home. It’s not about winning or losing for us anymore, because it can’t be. It’s about causing as much failure-inflicted misery upon the team and its fans as we can possibly fathom.

Don’t cry foul – it works both ways. Giants fans love the Giants. Dodgers fans love the Dodgers. We despise each other’s teams (though not necessarily each other as fans – a good percentage of my close friends are Giants fans), and root for our team’s success and the other’s ultimate failure.

I tell people that even if the Dodgers miss the playoffs, it’s a good season if we beat the Giants. This season, that clearly didn’t happen. The Giants are three wins away from going to the World Series. The Dodgers are three strokes away from breaking par at Pebble Beach.

But if the Cardinals win tonight, the Giants will join the Dodgers on the golf course, and all was for naught. It means both of us failed. That the Giants are not better than us. And that is a small consolation for Dodgers fans who agonized over a roller coaster season that ended in pure disappointment.

I love the Dodgers. Therefore I hate the Giants. If the Cardinals are playing the Giants, I root for the Cardinals to destroy them, so I can live vicariously through that victory.

The Cardinals are one win away from knocking the Giants out. One good game. It could happen tonight. And as the rivalry goes, that potential win would craft an evil smile along the faces of an entire legion of Dodger fans.

That’s baseball, that’s life, and that is this rivalry.

And THAT is why I became the world’s biggest Cardinals fan overnight.


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